Hamilton nurses hold protest to repeal Bill 124

Dozens of nurses from the Hamilton area gathered outside St. Joseph’s Hospital in downtown Hamilton to voice their frustrations regarding working conditions in hospitals.

The protesters took aim at Bill 124, which they say won’t allow them to be paid commensurate to the vital work that they do.

“I have survived cancer, I have survived COVID, but I’m not sure I can survive on the one per cent pay raise,” said one protester.

The nurses said the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the weaknesses in Ontario’s healthcare and has brought some of them to the edge.

Every single nurse CHCH News spoke with said the last two and a half years have been horrendous and they’re not looking forward to the future either. The main reason is Bill 124.

Bill 124 limits wage increases to 1% a year for the next three years for public sector workers, including nurses, personal support workers, cleaners, and clerks.

Nurses at the protest said they want the bill scrapped and want to see nurses given a livable wage.

The Ford government stands by Bill 124 and the other party leaders promise to get rid of it if they claim victory in next month’s election.